Yields: 16-18 cupcakes)
1 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (100g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup (60g) melted butter
1 cup (240g) sugar
3/4 cup (180g) buttermilk
3/4 cup (180g) coffee/water at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180oC.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
Stir melted butter and sugar together in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Stir in buttermilk until combined.
Beat in one egg at a time.
Stir in coffee and vanilla extract.
Add sifted ingredients in and stir until just combined.
Portion batter into lined cupcake tin and bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Rudolph Cupcake Decoration:
Round biscuits (1″ diameter)
Black edible marker
Spread nutella over surface of cooled cupcake
Place two pretzels flat on top of the cupcake for the ears
Draw a round black dot on two white mints and place them beneath the pretzels for the eyes
Place round biscuit beneath the eyes and stick a red M&Ms on the biscuit using a bit of nutella on the underside to keep it in place.
Christmas Tree Cupcake Decoration:
4 egg whites
375g unsalted butter, soft but not melted
Green color paste
1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
Place 160g sugar with water in a clean saucepan and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, place egg whites in mixing bowl and start whisking on low until frothy. Add 80g sugar a bit at a time and whisk on high till just before stiff peaks.
When boiled sugar reaches 116oC, remove from stove and pour hot sugar syrup into mixing bowl in a thin and slow stream while whisking egg whites on high speed.
After all the sugar syrup is added, continue whisking on high for ~3 minutes, then turn down to medium speed to cool the meringue.
When the meringue has cooled to room temperature, add soft butter a bit at a time while whisking on high until buttercream comes together.
Add green color paste gradually while whisking until desired shade of green is achieved. If using, add peppermint extract to taste.
Using an open star tip, pipe a circle of green buttercream in the middle of cupcake, and then build up another 2 more circles slightly smaller than the last until the top.
Decorate your cupcakes with sprinkles and candy star and enjoy!